’s Mark Kurowski reflects on our “no one-ness”.  What can we “change” in the world? Maybe everything. Listen to this podcast of his reflection on the readings for the Presentation of the Lord. Please read Luke 2:22-40.  For Audio, “read more” below.  #GreatPreaching #Prayer #Sermons #Homilyhelper #Pebbles #PresentationoftheLord #Change #Luke #Messiah

For, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 2/2/2014 The Presentation of Our Lord

 Please pause this audio and read Luke 2:22-40

          Think of the rings of wave from a pebble tossed into a pond.

          Thomas Merton said in one of his lectures, “The one who meditates, meditates on his own life because God works in history.” Merton’s point is that God is integral and active in the lives of each of us. Merton instructed the monks at Abbey Gethsemani to meditate on their lives so that they could see God’s movement in the history of our very own lives. It is a lesson that we should take from Merton and from Simeon and Anna.

God is active in the lives of Simeon and Anna. They both were at the Temple in Jerusalem often, praying “day and night.” Simeon was a man who was praying constantly for the “consolation of Israel.” In other words, he was praying that he would see the Savior who would deliver Israel from its captivity at the hands of the Romans.   In his prayers, the Holy Spirit told him that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he died. The purpose of Simeon was to verify that the Deliverer of all humankind was who he is. It is Simeon who says, “This is him! This is the Lord’s Messiah, the Lord’s Christ,” as he looked at the baby.

Anna was a widow who had been married seven years then her husband died. She spent her time after the death of her husband, nearly 60+ years, praying, fasting and worshiping God in the Temple. This woman, too, a prophetess the Scriptures say, proclaimed that Jesus, the baby in her midst was the “redemption of Israel,” the one who would save his people from their sins.

Who is Simeon outside of this passage? He is no one. He is everyone.

Who is Anna outside of this passage? She is no one. She is everyone.

Who are Simeon and Anna? They are people open to the understanding that God works in human history and speaks to us about purpose of our life. Simeon and Anna are two witnesses, this is key because nothing is valid without the witness of two people in Judaic Law. They are two witnesses that Jesus is the Christ, the deliverer of all who are enslaved in sin and death.

Simeon and Anna also point to another very deep and abiding truth about us: our lives are part of salvation history. In fact, our lives fulfill salvation history. The very purpose of Simeon and Anna was to testify to the fact that Jesus is the Savior of the world. Their personal lives, going to church with regularity, praying for their children, the people in their community, maybe baking a pie for a carry-in pot-luck dinner, has a purpose in salvation history.

          There was a woman I knew named Edna Lizotte. Edna cleaned the church every week as a volunteer. She would stop in my office and talk to me for a bit, but then she would keep on cleaning and cleaning so that, as she said, “guests will want to stay.” What if someone came to Church and saw it as run down and dirty? What if that turned them off and they couldn’t stay to hear the message because their faith had not yet matured? The Lord nudged Edna to clean the Church so that others would want to stay and hear the word “rightly preached.”

          There is a man who is on my facebook feed who constantly asks for prayer intentions from others before he goes to Church to pray for an hour. Nearly 64 people sent prayer intentions his way before he left for Church. What if there was someone out there thinking of suicide who came across his facebook post? They send him a discreet message, “pray for me. I am lost.” This man, facebook man, his simple little facebook post gives a person hope and another day of life that could change the world.

          The other day a friend of mine was sent a text message by one of his students that he wanted to share with me. The text read, “You have showed me what it means to be a man. I thank you.” I asked him what he did. He said, “I told him that God made him and loves him, so he is good.” What was it that made my friend say that? It was a moment in prayer that moved him to tell a young man he had worth in a world that says otherwise.

          God broke into the life of Edna. God broke into the life of facebook man. God broke into the life of my friend. The Holy Spirit revealed to them that they were to do a little something to please the Lord.   These people, Edna, facebook man and my friend, saved people, brought them to know Jesus, and are part of salvation history.

          All over the world, through little acts and big deeds, people are following the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do things that cause others to believe and be saved. Those others are doing things to save others. Those others are saving others. They are like the rings of a pebble in a pond: Salvation history coming to the life of someone near you.

          Why couldn’t this happen to you? Who are you, you are no one. You are everyone. You are Simeon. You are Anna.

What is the Holy Spirit revealing to you? What part does your life play in the salvation of the World? Amen? Amen.

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